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Alveolar Carbon Dioxide Measurements in Normal and Emphysematous Subjects

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(3):411-417. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260030093009.
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Chronic pulmonary disease, particularly emphysema, presents a problem in a hospital treating males of the older age group. Pulmonary emphysema may be encountered as a complication of any disease, but in spite of its high incidence, little is known concerning its basic abnormal physiology. The importance of carbon dioxide in the control of respiration was first considered by Miescher-Rush, cited by Best and Taylor,1 in 1885, and amplified by Haldane and Priestley,2 who pointed out the importance of the blood pCO2 as one of the controlling factors. Scott3 related the ventilatory response of his subjects to the inhalation of CO2 in varying concentrations in view of the emphysematous patient's increased tolerance to a high alveolar CO2 concentration. He concluded that the diminished response in the emphysematous persons as compared with the normal was due to the increased buffering capacity of the body fluids. Donald and Christie4 expanded Scott's work


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